Coast to Coast Christmas Preview #c2cmoments

First up, I need to apologise for the delay in this post coming. It’s been half sat in draft form for a few days now, but between hospital appointments and having to deal with our fostered kitty being put to sleep and birthday celebrations it’s been neglected somewhat for which I apologise!

 

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to Coast to Coast over in Valley Centertainment, Sheffield for an evening surrounding a preview of their Christmas Menu and cocktails. Who can say no to that?! I knew that fellow blogger Kirstie was going as well, so knew I wouldn’t be feeling too on my lonesome, and very quickly found out some of the others coming were also friends of Kirsties, so it was already shaping up to be a good evening with new friendly faces.

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I arrived there around ten minutes before our start of 7pm, and went over to find the girls – introductions made, and we got to chatting about what the evening might hold. Shortly after this, our host for the evening came over to introduce herself and what would be happening, and bringing the first of our treats for the evening – hot cider!! Mulled cider is something I really enjoy, anyway, and the table was split down the middle over the idea, with half of us being fans and half being unsure, but as it was brought over and we all had a sip, everyone was a fan. Served in a tall latte glass the mulled cider contained a cinnamon stick, and tasted like apple pie! A hint of toffee in there as well I thought. Certainly more than I was expecting, and was great to warm us up from what was probably the first actually nippy evening of the autumn.

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Once everyone had arrived, we were gathered at the bar, after Andy, the mixologist came over and introduced himself and the format of the evening – we’d be learning about some of the drinks featuring on the Christmas Menu, whilst watching them being made and even having a go, before sitting down and sampling some of the menu, with the chef coming out to explain the ideas behind the different dishes. Cracking stuff!!

First up was a souped up bucks fizz – which in the style of the restaurant (American food), is classed as a mimosa, made with grand marnier, prosecco and orange juice. We were also shown how ¬†to create a really stylish garnish out of orange peel, just to add that extra zing (if you pardon the pun ūüėČ Once we’d been shown, it was time for a willing volunteer. I would have loved to have volunteered, but was stuck in my wheelchair having had a new cast on, so was unfeasible – took plenty of notes though!)

Next on the list was egg nog – with a twist. I’d never had egg nog before, as the idea had always been a little off-putting ¬†-something to do with my mum being a big fan of advocaat I think- so seeing how it’s made was particularly interesting. Infuse some spiced rum with raisins, removing and keeping said raisins aside, and then to some of the rum add double cream, milk, gingerbread syrup ,ice, and of course the eponymous egg, mix and shake and serve with a bit of chocolate sprinkle and said raisins, et voila!

We then had a chocolate orange martini- which was very light to the taste – using chocolate bitters amongst other things and a glass dusted with white chocolate rather than sugar was the perfect way to garnish this. Below I’ve stuck some photos of the cocktails and fellow attendees getting stuck in!

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After the excitement of the cocktails we were shown to our tables, which had been laid out for us including crackers, decorations and mini bags of Thorntons, and introduced to the chef, who explained they’d got sample plates of starters, ¬†mains and a dessert for us to try from the upcoming ¬†menus.

On our first plate we had goats cheese bruschetta with pesto salad, and wild mushroom risotto. The chef explained that the bruschetta could easily be adapted to taste; there were different cheeses available, or no pesto salad for example. This was really good. I’ve had some bruschetta in the past which has been hard, verging on stale and not easy to eat, but this was lovely fresh ciabatta, which was cut across by the pleasant tang of goats cheese and then brought back into unity by the salad. Lovely. The risotto equally so!! ¬† a small bowl with lovely creamy risotto hidden under a pile of fresh rocket and leafy salad. Of all the risottos, mushroom is my favourite, but I’m quite picky about it – it’s very easy to under and overcook, so it was a delight to get it done just right.

 

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Our second plate to arrive was not what we’d class as traditional Christmas Fayre; a burger. However, the maple bacon burger was something that bit different for those fed up of the usual choices. I’ve known about the wonders of maple syrup and bacon for a while now, having been introduced to Epic Meal Time over on Youtube a while ago (those guys take bacon to the extreme!) so this was a great combo for me. The bun was a crusty white bun, and I’ll be honest here, I would personally prefer a brioche bun, but I’m aware that the extra sweetness may have pushed it over the edge there. Served with some really good fries – crispy and fluffy and one of the best ‘slaws’ I’ve had in a while, I could quite happily go for this. The burger is meaty. Not packed with other things, and well seasoned, which contrasts well against the sweet maple bacon. The chef explained that the bacon is marinated in maple syrup for 24 hours before being oven cooked, and then finished off on the grill when ready to serve. Topped off with salad and dill pickle (love ’em or hate ’em? they’re a must have for me!)

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Next up we received a more traditional dish of turkey with all the trimmings. The veg on this was done really well, and the mash is some of the best I’ve had EVER. I eat turkey all year round anyway, so this isn’t so much of a treat for me as to others, but it was very enjoyable, although I did miss my yorkshire pud (you can take a girl out of Yorkshire, even to an American bar/restaurant, but you can’t take the Yorkshire out of a girl) there were pigs in blankets to console! We were all starting to get full by now, so we pulled our crackers and put hats on whilst getting deep into conversation, as you’ll see in these pictures. I’ve also included one of my Raspberry Lynchburg (think lynchburg lemonade with raspberries) as this was really tasty too – who’d have thought bourbon and raspberry would go so well together!!

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By now we were all getting really stuffed, and were worried we would have no room for dessert, but I think everyone found some for the Oreo Cheesecake with Oreo ice cream and Chantilly Cream!! After this was one last surprise as we went back and were shown a final cocktail… which I’ll leave you with a photo of, along with the dessert. This was a thoroughly enjoyable night, which we all came away from having learned something as well as had some really nice food. I’d thoroughly recommend you go and give them a go, if not for the Christmas menu, but for the breakfast!

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#SheffieldBBloggers #3 – the Goodiebag!!

Well, it’s been a little while coming I know, but it is here – rightfully deserving of it’s own post; the goodie bag from the #SheffieldBBloggers event!

As you’ve already seen in previous posts – if not you’ll find part one here, and part two here¬†–¬†there were LOTS of companies involved, so I figured the easiest way that I could actually do this was to post a couple of pictures, and then go through the products that I have tried so far, with comments. A good few of these will no doubt get their own posts (and rightfully so) later, but this way I think works – so here goes!

Once again here’s that first look from at the event…

 

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The ¬†first thing you’ll see is just HOW generous the companies involved were, any why it would be nigh on impossible to provide a full write up of everything! So let’s take a look at it laid out a bit neater, once I’d gotten home and recovered from all of the excitement!

 

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The first thing that I would say is that I love the bag, which was kindly supplied by The Blogger Programme. I’ve got a thing for tote bags at the moment, and am pretty much solely switching between this one and one a friend brought back from a literary festival a bit earlier in the year. As you can see, it holds a lot! So, onto the contents; which I’m going to list, so I make sure I don’t miss anyone out, as not everyone got absolutely everything, and I still want to thank everyone! If I’ve tried the product, I will write my initial thoughts, and if not, I will come back and do an updated post in a while to include it!

  • Balance Active Formula Day & Night Cream¬†– I’ve been using this for about a week now, and it feels pretty good! The cream itself is an 8 in 1 cream, and whilst I can’t yet say it’s working in all 8 ways, I have noticed that my skin does feel firmer for using it, and a bit more even when I’ve used it before applying foundation.
  • Passion for Natural Aloe Vera Product¬†– this hasn’t just been used by me since it came into the house! I was expecting a strong aloe smell from this, but was pleasantly surprised to find there wasn’t. I received the Aloe Vera Lotion in my bag which is a full sized sample, and I’m finding I don’t need a lot, so I think this will last ages! I get quite irritated skin especially in winter, so this may well be a godsend!
  • Benefit Cosmetics Lola Tint, Big Easy Sample¬†I’ve yet to try this
  • T-Zone Facial Scrub¬†I’ve only used this once or twice, which isn’t for lack of wanting to! From very first impressions this left my face feeling incredibly cleansed, though, so will definitely be coming back to it.
  • Crabtree and Evelyn Product¬†I received a shower gel, which smells amazing, and when I’m able to have a shower again (hopefully the plaster will be off soon!) this is going to be used.
  • Skinetica– I haven’t tried this yet
  • Cloud 9 Skin Solutions¬†– I received the varicose vein treatment, which it says is also good for achey legs. Once the plaster comes off and physio begins I’m definitely going to be needing this, so I’m saving it for later.
  • Essie Nail Varnish¬†– I’ve had one go of this, so far, and I was astounded by how well it went on, even onto my really crappy nails!
  • Somerset Toiletry Company¬†– I received the Verbena luxury hand cream, which smells and feels amazing. I’ve used it a couple of times so far after being out in the cold in my wheelchair, as I can’t wear full gloves and it’s done a fantastic job of replacing moisture.
  • Papier Poudre Blotting paper¬†– I’ve yet to try this
  • Body Shop Nail Varnish¬†– I received a pink and green shade, and wore the pink one this Tuesday to an event I’d been invited to. It went on pretty smoothly, but seemed to come off incredibly easily. I’m going to give it another go or two just in case it was a fluke, but it looked good, so I hope so!
  • Lyons Leaf Beauty Balm¬†– I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m really excited about it. It smells really really good, and the little bit I put on my finger was quickly absorbed. Really cute tin as well!
  • Quinoderm Face Wash¬†– I haven’t tried this yet
  • Macadamia Cleansing Conditioner¬†– I think this is probably my favourite thing so far – it’s been an absolute godsend! The no suds formula has meant I’ve been able to wash my hair without having to bend over the sink so I don’t get shampoo everywhere, and it’s rinsed out really well, leaving my hair the cleanest it’s been since July (which I know sounds really bad, but my hair is SO THICK that it just doesn’t wash properly with shampoo and a sink and cup) Definitely a keeper.
  • Mondss Underarm Pads¬†– I’ve not tried these yet as I haven’t had occasion to, but really am intrigued to!
  • Nanshy Makeup Brush¬†– I haven’t tried this brush yet.
  • Transforming Lives ¬£100 Voucher
  • Bare Minerals Eyeliner¬†– eyeliner and me don’t always get on when it comes to my top lid, but this has really worked pretty well. I’ve worn it more as I would normally wear, but have experimented a bit, and it’s gone on really smoothly and has been easy to ¬†fix when I have smudged
  • Beauty UK Nail Varnish¬†– I received a bold blue of the Grit FX textured polish and this went on well, and has stayed on. I’m a real git for chipping nail varnish but this lasted long enough to get me through the day without having to touch up.
  • Only Naturals Samples¬†– I haven’t tried yet.
  • Charnos Stockings from No Bull PR¬†– I didn’t receive this in my bag
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion from the White Rose Branch– this was one of the big surprises, as it was a full size tube, not just a sample! I tried this on Tuesday and it’s shimmer is great on it’s own. I teamed it with the Lush Motivation I also bought on the day, which worked really well, and really glowed on top of this!
  • Clinomyth Toothpaste Challenge¬†– I didn’t receive this in my bag
  • Lypsyl¬†– I received a cherry flavoured tinted lypsyl. It’s something I would use anyway, so it’s been in my bag pretty much since! And the cherry flavour is irresistable.
  • Deborah Milano¬†– I haven’t tried this yet.
  • Dermocare WWF Plasters¬†These are adorable! I got the ocean set, and to be honest, I hope I don’t have to use them as they are so sweet!
  • Epic Blend Lip Balms¬†– I’ve not tried this yet.
  • Crownbrush Eye Brush¬†– I haven’t had a chance to try this yet.
  • Punky Pins Earrings¬†– I received a set of heart earrings, which seem sturdy enough (I tend to bend them and allsorts) but the size do cover my second peircings, however I’ll be having a look for some more having had a quick look at the site.
  • Tiny Wishes Bracelet¬†– This was an adorable four leaf clover charm. I’ve worn it a few times when I’ve been to hospital appointments (so call me superstitious ūüėČ ) and it’s simple and elegant.
  • Go Splash Water Flavourer¬†– I’ve not gotten round to trying this yet – mostly as I’ve forgotten to put it in my bag when I’ve been to the hospital.
  • Makeup Revolution Makeup¬†¬†– This is another of my favourite things. I received the Give Them Nightmares palette, along with a deep dark purple shade of lipstick. Both have been used, and not just on Halloween! (although the palette is great for making a realistic looking corpse face!)
  • Vanilla Shimmer Midi Ring¬†– I’m probably about to make you all gasp, but I’d never actually heard of a midi ring, and had to look up what one was! I’ve never really done rings at all, but this is cute, and I’ve worn it a couple of times. I think it will make an appearance on special occasions.
  • Jurlique Mini Goodie Bag¬†– This looks to be a real treat, and wonderfully packaged with lots of info too. I’ve not tried using them yet, but I’ve had a good smell, and can’t wait!
  • House of Wonderland Badge¬†– These went straight onto my rucksack, which has a rather geeky and random badge collection on there, so these fit perfectly!
  • Old Wives Tail Hair Treatments¬†– I didn’t receive this in my bag.
  • Demadew sample¬†– I’ve yet to try this.
  • Joico Colour Therapy¬†– Once I get the plaster off, I’ll be redoing my hair, possibly a rather ludicrous colour, so am saving this for then.
  • Flurt Frozen Yoghurt¬†– I haven’t been yet, but I know what I’ll be picking when I do!

 

So, there you have it! my first impressions of the goodie bag, and all that’s left is to say a big THANKYOU to all the companies who contributed.

I will update this post when I’ve had a chance to try more things, and of course some of these will get reviews in their own right!

 

Sara ūüôā

Coming up!

This is just a really quick post mostly to let you know what’s coming up in the next couple of days!

I ended up having a nightmare with some photos (and ended up having to go and hunt a new batch converter and all sorts of things) which took up a couple of days of my time, and hospital appointments a chunk more – but I have a new cast now (and understand why it won’t stay properly as my leg is completely deformed at the moment!) as well as a poorly foster cat so it’s meant my time has not been there to spend, wisely or not!

However, I’ve got two orders I need to sort out for some reviews I’m involved in (to be revealed soon!) and then I can finish off the goodie bag from ¬†the #SheffieldBBloggers event post (silver lining: every time I come back to it I’ve tried more of it!) as well as post about the book that I’m reading, and also the event I went to last night… so a fair bit arriving!

November Wishlist…

November is always an odd month for me… The clocks have just gone back, so I’m struggling with the darker nights (I have mild to moderate SAD) and it always seems a relentless tirade of Christmas right from the off.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like some of Christmas, but there’s a time and a place for it, and that time is DECEMBER. I really like the 12 days of Christmas tradition personally, it gives it a bit more meaning and also a more manageable timeframe, but whenever, it should definitely be after my birthday, which also happens to be in November.

So this post, is basically my birthday wishlist I guess…. although I don’t tend to work that way – I have an Amazon wishlist, and people can look at that, or generally Steam or Amazon vouchers are great things for me… but there are a few people who like to buy things, rather than vouchers or money (especially some family members who know I’ll spend money on bills) so having had a good think, and in no particular order, here is my November wishlist.

 

1. An Aeropress coffee maker. Now, I love tea, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing like a good cuppa, but I also love coffee as well, and I like proper coffee, but I can rarely be bothered to make it at home in my filter machine. I’ve heard nothing but good reviews about the Aeropress, and I think it would be a great little thing to try. It’s got some pretty awesome claims about it, but the thing that excites me the most is that I can do it straight into the cup and it’s easy to clean. Perfect for work!

2. Makeup Revolution. This is a fairly new brand to me, but after using the ¬†Give Me Nightmares palette that was included in the #SheffieldBBloggers goodie bag on Halloween to turn me into a corpse (the picture wasn’t great unfortunately as I was at the venue, but I’ll recreate at some point) there’s a bunch of other stuff I’d like to try.

3. Amazon Vouchers. This isn’t a cop-out, although they ALWAYS come in handy, but I’m going to start felting. I tried it at a craft event last month and really enjoyed it, so I’ve bought ¬†bunch of stuff already, but there’s some stuff that’s cheaper on Amazon, so I’d put it to that, or give a list of the equipment.

4. Something off my Steam Wishlist. Anything off there would be well received, although my eye is on the new Fable stuff in particular!

5. New camera and gear. This one isn’t something that one person would buy, but I do want to update as I really need long manual exposure for night shots, and get a light now that I’m doing more photography professionally.

6. Ikea trip. I’m not a big shopper person, (although I do have my moments) but Ikea is a weakness. I don’t even have to buy much! It’s nice to just get out and about and have a browse. I love Scandinavia in general, and am looking forwards to going back and seeing more of it, but I really love the style elements, whether it’s the traditional wooden, or more modern sleek and clean design elements.

7. Yours clothing. I LOVE Yours clothing. Being rather plus-sized it’s difficult to get cute clothes sometimes, especially with a good fit, so when Yours finally came to Meadowhall (there’d been one in the Metrocentre for a while before I moved back to Sheffield) I was so pleased. I’ve already decided that when I’m out of plaster, and able to wear tights again I will be purchasing a skirt/dress from there.

8. Mead. Mead is a weakness of mine, and I do love a good mead (it’s the Viking in me!) and there are a good few to choose from now, especially thanks to Beer Central in Sheffield Market having a decent stock of varieties. I’m looking forwards to trying the Tournament Mead and the Christmas Meads, both of which are spiced.

9. Socks. Socks are another weakness of mine. Some people cheer themselves up by buying Shoes, I do it with socks. I like Fat Face socks in particular, although there are lots of funky ones out there. Another thing I’ll be getting when the plaster comes off!

10. As I wouldn’t feel right not rounding it up to ten, I would have to go for Tea here. Something a bit unusual maybe, but I’d equally be happy with a really good Assam, or Earl Grey. I like Mango Tea, and have recently discovered white tea, which I’m quite into the idea of at the moment.

 

So there you go! x

#SheffieldBBloggers Part 2!

So, this one is a little later than expected, but as per my last post, I’m not going to apologise for that – real life wins all ties, y’know?

However, it does mean that I can post up a bit more than I’d planned to.

So, you’ll remember from my last post about the event¬†I’d talked about the fact that we were raising money on the day for the charity Look Good Feel Better – helping cancer sufferers deal with the practicalities of their condition as well as providing a Confidence kit of make-up and skincare that’s suitable for sensitive and damaged skin. Well, after the wonderful spread put on for us by Maveli, raffle ticket sales were underway for some absolutely amazing prizes – seriously the companies involved were so generous! Everyone dug deep, and I was only too happy to stick in some cash, especially as being stuck in hospital for a month earlier this year and being mostly housebound since, meant I’d not bought tea or coffee out, so I stuck in what I’d have spent in the month if I’d been on my feet. Below is the list of what was up for grabs so you’ll see why it was causing such a fuss, and helped us raise around ¬£250 for a wonderful cause!

I think every one was covered in one way or another with something to covet in this list!

In the Hair and Beauty department, Argan Dew sent over some of their Hair Oil and Mask Samples, Balm UK sent over a LOAD of goodies, which we split into two prizes because they were so popular!  The Furless Cosmetics Brush Set was another highly coveted prize, Fruition Hair in Sheffield donated a BTX Hair Treatment, and Kim at Boudoir Salon was going to give one lucky recipient a full HD Brows Treatment.

Plenty for those looking for skincare and the like as well, with donations of bundles from Passion for Natural, Bee Good, Cocoa Brown, Only Naturals, La Roche-Posay, and  Nourish, as well as  a personalised donation from Trusted Health Products.

The Handmade Burger Company sent some vouchers for meals for 2, and Fragrance Direct sent 6, yes SIX perfumes!

And finally, but not least, we had contributions from Colorstiq, with an OPI Nail Varnish Gift Set, Candy Rocks donated a necklace, Taupe & Pearl also donated jewellery, ¬†Jewel Candle donated 2 of their candles (very cool premise) ¬†Sunglasses Shop offered a pair of London Retro Sunglasses of the winner’s choosing, and last but not least (although I think the most coveted of all), were FOUR Vivienne Westwood rings donated by Silvertree Jewellery.

 

So now, you know why EVERYONE was so excited! A huge thank you goes out to all the brands who donated and helped us to raise this amount of money for such a wonderful cause! I was thrilled to win three prizes in the raffle, being the Candy Rocks Necklace, one of the bundles of The Balm makeup, and the La Roche-Posay gift set! Lucky lucky me – I’d been talking about wanting to revamp my skincare routine at the start of that week, so that was brilliant!

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Whilst this was going on, we had Kim (mentioned above) who’s Sheffield’s top HD Brow Trainer was giving consultations and treatments out, and there was plenty of chance for networking, and talking about how much fun we were having!

As the afternoon drew towards a close there was one last surprise planned for us, which was the arrival of Costello’s Cakeaway. All I can tell you about this is to go and check them out and try them. They deliver cake. I’ll say that again so it sinks in, they deliver CAKE. To your DOOR. They brought lots of samples, and the room was the quietest it had been all day after their arrival! I didn’t get a picture of the yummy goodness, due to being in the chair, but I did get to try a bit of the Mango and Passionfruit cheesecake which was divine. We did make a delivery order a few days later, and I’m surprised we lasted that long!!

After this, the event wound down, but there was one last surprise, in Flurt – the frozen yoghurt shop I’ve been wanting to try for sometime, had brought us all some haribo and vouchers, just as we were saying goodbye and going our separate ways, so they are definitely on my to-do list and expect the review soon!

All that remains now, is once again to say a huge thank you to Georgina, Ashleigh and Heather for organising this meetup – it was immense fun, and to everyone who came and helped on the day, and contributed, and of course, to write up the goodie bag! I’ll leave you with a sneak peak of the contents though for now…

 

a sneak preview...

a sneak preview…

 

Sara

 

 

A quick one…just a few thoughts

This is just a quick post, as I’ve got tons to be getting on with today…

I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that I’m going to need to get organised very quickly for this blog. Being of a highly organised bent anyway, that’s not the problem at all, I just didn’t really think I’d need to for a while! It’s probably not a bad thing though, and means that I can schedule my posts as well… I don’t really want to name posts according to the day, but I think I will definitely set days to post on particular things… I’ve obviously got a lot of things to talk about from the #SheffieldBBloggers Goodie Bag, and I’ve also got two books I’ve been asked to review – one from Goodreads/Random House, and another from Fox Spirit.

PLUS I’m editing a book as well, and still going with my business consultancy, heaven knows what it’ll be like when I get back to work!

So, getting organised now, is definitely the best idea, but I think it’s important to set a few rules out. First of all, just because I’m scheduling does NOT mean you can expect four posts a week. I’m also not going to apologise if I don’t make a post on a topic that week -for example a gaming post might end up being once a month, because ultimately, I need to have time to play the game, and if I don’t have that, I can’t give it an honest review. Equally, I might just have too much on. This blog is my hobby, and of course, sometimes there will be deadlines I need to meet, when I’ve been lucky enough to get a product to review pre-launch for example, but ultimately, I’m writing for fun.

Of course, the plus side to scheduling is that if I get a bit of time, then I can write as much as I like, and know that I’ve got something ‘in the bag’ so to speak for the weeks where I’m mega busy, which will also mean I’m not sat feeling like I need to find something to write about this week. So, we’ll give this a try….

#SheffieldBBloggers (Part 1)

So, if you’ve read my last post which explains why I’ve been away and introduced the Sheffield BBloggers event, (and if you haven’t the easy recap is here)¬†you’ll know that I left off having just realised that all of my stuff was at my house, and I didn’t really have anything where I am while I’m recuperating…

The next morning, I woke up feeling pretty fresh for not too much sleep, but not looking great, and certainly not looking good enough to turn up to a beauty event… as you can see (because, let’s face it, this is how I’ve looked since my accident pretty much, so I don’t ¬†really care who sees it… plenty have!) This wasn’t going to cut it, and as much as I have some confidence in myself, and I know I’m a lot more interesting than I am pretty (which I’d rather be) like everyone, I’m still somewhat self-conscious, and despite my excitement for being able to go out ON MY OWN, as well as getting to meet a bunch of people I’ve known on Twitter for a while, as well as make some new friends, something needed to be done…

 

Not exactly the prettiest of sights, I think you'll agree!

Not exactly the prettiest of sights, I think you’ll agree!

 

I quickly formulated a plan to stop in at Boots (as there was one across from the venue for the day). So, after getting my hair washed, and dressed and booking a taxi to take me into town, I quickly dove into the shop and made an impulse purchase as what I’d been looking for wasn’t there so instead settled for some Rimmel BB Cream, and Extra Lash Mascara, which was hopefully going to be light enough to not leave my face feeling like it had had cement applied with a trowel, but enough to even out the imperfections (if not the giant zit!) For it being an emergency purchase, I think it came off OK. The BB cream is a 9-in-1; it’s lightweight ¬†ultra-comfortable formula claims to prime, moisturise, minimizes pores, conceal, cover, smooth, mattify, brighten, and help protect, with an SPF of 25.

It didn’t feel too heavy duty at all on application, and did a good job of evening out my skin tone straight away, meaning I only needed a small amount and it was evenly covered. Definitely something I could get away with wearing more frequently, although I’m not sure that it’s ever going to replace my normal everyday No7, it’s certainly a good alternative if I’m needing something a little heavier. One slight downside was that it wasn’t the easiest when it came to removal, it seemed to take a fair while.

The mascara is one that builds lashes with repeated use, so I can’t really say too much on that, but it wasn’t clumpy, and went on absolutely fine. The brush shape is standard, so not the most ergonomic I’ve used, but does the job, and in front of a proper mirror would be a lot easier.

Much better I think you'll agree?

Much better I think you’ll agree?

After an unashamed application in the window of the shop, I was finally ready for the event.

So, headed across the road, to locate the venue for the day, which was Maveli Restaurant, located towards the top end of West St, Sheffield. It’s somewhere I’d passed quite a few times before, but not while it was open, so had no real clue about it, other than knowing it was there, which is a shame, as it’s a lovely done out building. The restaurant specialises in South Indian cuisine, so there are things on their regular menu you wouldn’t find in a standard shop, and the staff there on the day were absolutely lovely – when it came to sampling the nibbles at lunchtime they were only too happy to talk us through it! This is somewhere I’ll definitely be coming to have a meal at in the future based on their wonderful hosting of the day.

 

Maveli from the outside

Maveli from the outside

 

The event itself was organised by Georgina, Ashleigh, and Heather, who had put the whole thing together FANTASTICALLY. Upon entry we were greeted warmly, given a brief outline of the day, and then given our goodie-bags (which are going to need at least a post to itself owing to the sheer amount of things in there!) Lush Sheffield were setting up and had brought lots of goodies with them, and over the other side, Jan from Look Good Feel Better – the Charity that the event was supporting was also setting up her information, as well as the table which the prizes for the raffle, and there was plenty of space in the middle to sit and mingle with other bloggers, known and unknown. People had come from Sheffield and the surrounding areas, and I think there were very few people, if any, who knew everyone there so there was plenty of time for networking, and plenty to break the ice in those bags!!

 

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After a good chat and getting acquainted with people and surroundings, I went over to the Lush stall, who’d got a good selection of the goodies, including festive things and products from their Emotional Brilliance range. I decided I’d treat myself to a ‘Motivation’ which is a very rich deep blue eyeliner, although you can blend it as an eyeshadow, or even use as a lip cover if you’re feeling daring! I’ll be quite honest, and say that I didn’t really pay too much attention to the bath stuff, as at the moment, because of the plaster, bathing and showering conventionally are out of the question (and I have a bag of Lush things to use when I can finally have a proper bath and shower!) I did however spot a glittery powder I should have had a closer look at though…one for next time I’m there…

In addition to their wares, the staff were also offering hand and arm massages and the chance to make an Ickle Baby Bot bath bomb. I’ve posted about making things with Lush before, and this was just as fun! You’d think that mixing together purple and white would give you a pale purple, but there’s something rather magical about watching the mix go from purple, to a little paler, to suddenly a bright blue! And the lady did give me a cracking suggestion for it, which was to use it in a foot soak, which I fully intend to do just before my next appointment (which if the plaster gets a little wet won’t matter then!)

arty bot

arty bot

After this, I went over to see Jan, who was here representing the charity Look Good Feel Better, to find out a bit more about them and what they do. The short version is that they help people suffering the effects of Cancer to look good, and to feel better! They’ve been running for 20 years (of which Jan has worked for them for 19 of those years!) and do this by means of workshops for women and teenagers who are suffering the side effects of Cancer treatments and teach them about skincare and make-up and how to disguise and conceal the effects. Each person attending is also given their own Confidence Kit, which is a DVD and Guide to using the products in their gift bag, which is generously donated to by a lot of leading skincare and make-up companies as well as practical advice on things like wigs, and scarves.

As I’m sure you can agree this is a fantastic charity, and one that I am only too happy to support, having had friends go through this disease and seen what it can do to someone’s confidence, as well as knowing first hand to a small extent what being stuck in a hospital bed for a period of time can do to you, so when the raffle tickets came round I was more than happy to put a considerable amount of my cash I’d saved in there. (one advantage of being stuck in the house most of the time means you don’t spend random money, which is a good job on Statutory Sick Pay!)

 

After I’d done this, it was ¬†lunchtime, and Maveli’s had very kindly made a taster platter for us of their food, which was stunning. I didn’t get many pictures of this, as being in the wheelchair I was at the wrong angle, and people were hungry! But I did manage a couple, which I hope will give you a taster of the wonderful things we got to sample! After lunch, there were other treats in store for us, and the raffle draw, but I think I’ll save that for part two…

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